Fujitsu Siemens bundles SuSE Linux

European enterprises interested in a different approach to acquiring the Linux operating system may want to take a good look at a bundled service package now available from Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding) BV.

Companies purchasing a Primergy server can acquire Linux software supplied by SuSE Linux AG on a CPU (central processing unit) basis, Fujitsu Siemens said Monday in a statement.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software, available as a yearly maintenance package, costs €279 (US$322) per server and CPU and €179 for each additional processor, according to a Fujitsu Siemens spokeswoman. Discounts are available to enterprises wishing to purchase multiple servers with multiple processors as part of a project installation, the spokesman said.

Fujitsu Siemens is not pre-installing Linux but its channel partners are free to do so, the spokesman said.

The maintenance package includes updates, patches and fixes, as well as installation support, said Petra Heinrich, vice president of partner sales and services at SuSE in Nuremberg, Germany. Customers can purchase standard and premium hotline support services, she said.

SuSE's Enterprise Server V8 software currently costs €899, Heinrich said.

The software is available in English, German and several other "relevant" languages, she said. Manuals, however, are available in English and German only.

The deal with SuSE is not exclusive, the Fujitsu Siemens spokesman said. "We are announcing the deal with SuSE today but we may also want to do something with Red Hat Inc.," the spokesman said.

Last week, Fujitsu Ltd. and Red Hat announced an extensive partnership to collaborate in sales, marketing, support and engineering. "We are talking with SuSE about a similar partnership," said Joseph Reger, chief technology officer (CTO) at Fujitsu Siemens in a telephone conference. "We can't announce a deal yet but such a partnership is clearly in our interest."

SuSE is a founding member of UnitedLinux whose distribution strongholds include Europe, Japan and Latin America. "The group is key to us," Reger said, adding that "the fewer the Linux distributors, the better."

Linux has become "enterprise-ready" software that will occupy a solid place in the family of operating systems supported by Fujitsu Siemens, the CTO said.

Fujitsu Siemens is selling the bundled hardware and software package directly and indirectly through its channel partners, the spokesman said.

"We think this package is highly attractive for our channel partners," Reger said.

Fujitsu Siemens' Primergy servers are based on Intel Corp.'s Xeon processor. The Primergy server family ranges from a mono-processor system to a 16-way system.

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